Casting Her Own Shadow: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Shaping of Postwar Liberalism / Edition 1

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Black shows how Eleanor Roosevelt, after being freed from the constraints imposed by her role in the White House, eagerly expanded her career and unabashedly challenged both the Democratic party and American liberals to practice what they preach.

-Written with verve and filled with new information, the issues discussed here are the most urgent issues of our time. . . . Everyone interested in the ongoing battles of the twentieth century, everyone concerned about women and power, biography and history, politics and the future, will want to read this book. -Blanche Wiesen Cook -author of Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life

Unlike other women of her stature, Eleanor Roosevelt did not let her political career come to an end when her husband died in 1945. In this fascinating and provocative new book, Black examines Eleanor Roosevelt's profound influence on the Democratic party and civil rights organizations during the 17 years of the life she led after her husband's death. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Blanche Wiesen Cook
Written with verve and filled with new information, the issues discussed here are the most urgent issues of our time. . . . Everyone interested in the ongoing battles of the twentieth century, everyone concerned about women and power, biography and history, politics and the future, will want to read this book.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This vital study reconstructs Eleanor Roosevelt's role as a major power broker from 1945 until her death in 1962. Chagrined at her acquiescence to FDR's policy of interning Japanese Americans during WWII, the First Lady left the White House more committed to racial justice. Her vigorous campaigning against discriminatory voting, housing and employment practices and her outspoken opposition to McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee made her the target of segregationists, xenophobes and anticommunists. In a fierce rivalry with President Truman, she advocated an economic bill of rights guaranteeing full employment at a fair wage. Increasingly dissatisfied with centrist John F. Kennedy from the mid-1950s, she aggressively criticized his timidity on civil rights and his ignoring of migrant farm workers' plight. Her principled stand for low-cost and public housing, affirmative action, regulation of corporations, U.S. support for the United Nations-key planks in the liberal agenda under siege today-makes this a timely reassessment. Black is assistant professor of American studies and history at Pennsylvania State University. Photos. Author tour. (Feb.)
A well researched biography of Eleanor Roosevelt focusing on her political career after her husband's death in 1945. Black's (history and American studies, Pennsylvania State U.) chronicle views Roosevelt's influence on the Democratic party and her efforts on behalf of civil rights organizations through a political history lens, highlighting her opposition activities toward Senator Joseph McCarthy, her support of Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy, and her life-long commitment to desegregation as the cornerstone of American democracy. Includes black and white photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231104043
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/1996
  • Edition description: Casebound ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Casting Her Own Shadow 1
1 Learning To Be Independent: ER as Democratic Activist 7
2 Coming into Her Own: ER as First Lady 23
3 Holding Truman Accountable: Full and Fair Employment at Just Wages 51
4 Championing Civil Rights: From Patience to Protest 85
5 Confronting the Vital Center: Civil Liberties in War and Peace 151
6 Challenging the Party: John Kennedy and the Election of 1960 177
Conclusion: In the Shadow of ER 199
Notes 205
Bibliography 255
Index 273
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